Tennessee Trail Riders

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I would like to know how many of y'all ride your horses barefoot and why.

As many of you know I have been a farrier for 28 years and chose to let my anvil start rusting back in 1994, and since then have devoted my professional life to educating horse owners about the myths and truths of barefoot.

I would also like to invite EVERYONE to attend my annual spring trail ride on March 21st. at Percy Warner Park. (I will post more info on the events page soon.) The last ride we had 32 barefoot horses, lets make it more this year!

Please share!
Jim Apple

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Hi Jim, We have three Tennessee Walking Horses and they are all barefoot. We trail ride them all over the place. I use the natural trim because it is healthier for them. I also don't have to deal with thrown shoes . My son is a barefoot trimmer here in Pa. and it sure saves me time and money. I have them on a hoof supplement , mostly in winter, as PA. has horrible winters. This is what best for our horses. We have had shoes on all of them and their were terrible. GO BAREFOOT!!!!!!!
We have our horses shod. I would be interested in 'barefoot'. I really dislike having steel shoes nailed on to their hooves. My husband, on the other hand, might be hard to convince. I am going to have him read all of these comments to see if he might be interested in giving it a try. Anyone know of any good barefoot trimmers around the Florence, AL area?
ME!!!!!!!! ALL FOUR OF THEM!!!!
Hey Jim, I still live in Florida but will be relocating soon. I have a couple of thorobreds which I got off the racerack a couple years ago. I couldn't keep shoes on one of them, he kept over-reaching and pulling them off. So I said the heck with it, he's going barefoot. I finally took him trail riding (just got a trailer) and he went perfect. Over roots, rocks and pavement. Not one bad step and not one chip in his hooves. The other horse has the most perfectly round on the edge hooves and they never chip. (I haven't taken him trail riding yet because he won't fit in my trailer-17 hands!) I had to explain to my farrier about the barefoot trim and gave him a Pete Ramey dvd to watch. No worries!
i have always had barefoot horses. why? why not? every horse i have ever owned has always been barefoot with rock solid feet that can withstand about anything i walk them over. I have never had a lame horse and i can trail ride upwards to 7 hours a day (before i need a break) and my horses have never once given from the rocks or been tender/sore. I refuse to shoe my horses, simply because i have had such good luck with staying barefoot. Even barrel racing, barefoot does the job. plus, its only $25 for a trim :)
I have had my horses barefoot for some time now. I figured if my horse was lame in shoes then he could be lame barefoot. Turns out he was sound barefoot, (7 yrs or so). Long story short I mentored with Steve Dick in Florida, farrier turned trimmer, learned a heck of alot about the whole horse (it is never JUST the feet), starting going to hoof care clinics, learned to trim my own and others. One of our local equine vets is also a trimmer, he says: "you can't shoe a horse sound". Here is a link to a great publication that you can view right now for free: http://www.thehorseshoof.com/THHFREE30.pdf

Diet is so important to hoof health, it can't be said enough. (Thank you Jim!) That does include pasture. Remember so many of our pasture grasses were developed for the cattle industry, not horses. Look at mustangs who forage and travel 15-17 miles a day to eat. They are not standing on a couple of acres of lush grass. Best hooves I have seen on people owned horses are a lady's in New Mexico whose horses are on rocky hilly terrain and they all self trim, no trimmer or farrier needed. They move A LOT.

As far as transitioning out of shoes, some horses never miss a beat but if you need a little help in the process, then boots will do the job. I love my Renegades! But there are so many good boots out there now, they keep getting better and more user friendly.

The best footed horse I have is an eight yr old who has never worn a shoe. He is a gravel cruncher, AND he is over 1/2 T-bred. And for competition horses, the ones that go in an arena, I would think they of all horses would NOT need protection because they should be competing on GOOD FOOTING. Look at the endurance riders who train barefoot and only boot if the terrain callss for it. Those are some usin' horses!

My personal experience is most farriers know how to mold steel, but sadly know very little about what goes on inside the horse's hoof, or body. A good trimmer discusses all the criteria that makes for a sound horse, not just the bottom of the hoof!

I think shoes can serve a purpose on a temporary basis, but it starts with a good balanced trim, not a metal shoe.

My mare, an Arab/QH cross who will be 16 this summer, has never had shoes on her feet. I guess at first, after purchasing her at the age of 7, it was more of a money thing to keep her barefoot, but as I've become more knowledgeable, it is definitely a way of life for my horses. My gelding, who I bought almost 5 years ago, has been shoe-free since then. I haven't had any problems with either of their feet and I do believe they are healthier and happier being barefoot (I know I prefer to go barefoot whenever possible). My horses are also out on pasture 24/7 and have been a lot healthier since not being in stalls at all. I am truly a proponent of letting horses be horses, which includes letting them go barefoot! :)
All of my horses are barefoot. They have been for years.
What do the people who do barefoot hoof trimming normally charge per horse? Just curious. I've always used shoes and probably always will, but thought I'd find out what barefoot farriers cost.
Jim, I just put shoes on my horse 2 days ago for the first time since I have had her. Now you are making me doubt my decision. Help me understand. Dorothy
Dorothy, Give me a call, I talk way faster than I can type!

615.406.3491 is my cell number.
All in my herd are barefoot. Everything that I have studied about being barefoot just seems the most logical.  Looking forward to getting out and riding the trails here in Tennessee. I just moved here from central NC.  See you  the Spring ride!


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